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Year of Publication
2.  Crystal therapy for all? 
doi:10.3399/bjgp13X660968
PMCID: PMC3529297  PMID: 23336478
4.  Integration of care: a bridge too far? 
doi:10.3399/bjgp12X653462
PMCID: PMC3404308  PMID: 22867654
6.  Clinical effectiveness of a patient decision aid to improve decision quality and glycaemic control in people with diabetes making treatment choices: a cluster randomised controlled trial (PANDAs) in general practice 
BMJ Open  2012;2(6):e001469.
Objective
To determine the effectiveness of a patient decision aid (PDA) to improve decision quality and glycaemic control in people with diabetes making treatment choices using a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT).
Design
A cluster RCT.
Setting
49 general practices in UK randomised into intervention (n=25) and control (n=24).
Participants
General practices Inclusion criteria: >4 medical partners; list size >7000; and a diabetes register with >1% of practice population. 191 practices assessed for eligibility, and 49 practices randomised and completed the study. Patients People with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) taking at least two oral glucose-lowering drugs with maximum tolerated dose with a glycosolated haemoglobin (HbA1c) greater than 7.4% (IFCC HbA1c >57 mmol/mol) or advised in the preceeding 6 months to add or consider changing to insulin therapy. Exclusion criteria: currently using insulin therapy; difficulty reading or understanding English; difficulty in understanding the purpose of the study; visual or cognitive impairment or mentally ill. A total of 182 assessed for eligibility, 175 randomised to 95 intervention and 80 controls, and 167 completion and analysis.
Intervention
Brief training of clinicians and use of PDA with patients in single consultation.
Primary outcomes
Decision quality (Decisional Conflict Scores, knowledge, realistic expectations and autonomy) and glycaemic control (glycosolated haemoglobin, HbA1c).
Secondary outcomes
Knowledge and realistic expectations of the risks and benefits of insulin therapy and diabetic complications.
Results
Intervention group: lower total Decisional Conflict Scores (17.4 vs 25.2, p<0.001); better knowledge (51.6% vs 28.8%, p<0.001); realistic expectations (risk of ‘hypo’, ‘weight gain’, ‘complications’; 81.0% vs 5.2%, 70.5% vs 5.3%, 26.3% vs 5.0% respectively, p<0.001); and were more autonomous in decision-making (64.1% vs 42.9%, p=0.012). No significant difference in the glycaemic control between the two groups.
Conclusions
Use of the PANDAs decision aid reduces decisional conflict, improves knowledge, promotes realistic expectations and autonomy in people with diabetes making treatment choices in general practice.
ISRCTN Trials Register Number
14842077.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001469
PMCID: PMC3532975  PMID: 23129571
Primary Care
8.  Impact of the QOF and the NICE guideline in the diagnosis andmanagement of depression: a qualitative study 
The British Journal of General Practice  2011;61(586):e279-e289.
Background
The National Institute for Health and clinical Excellence (NICE) depression guideline (2004) and the updated Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) ( 2006) in general practice have introduced the concepts of screening severity assessment, for example using the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9), and ‘stepped care’ for depression.
Aim
To explore primary care practitioner perspectives on the clinical utility of the NICE guideline and the impact of the QOF on diagnosis and management of depression in routine practice.
Design and setting
Qualitative study using focus groups from four multidisciplinary practice teams with diverse populations in south Yorkshire.
Method
Four focus groups were conducted, using a topic guide and audiotaping. There were 38 participants: GPs, nurses, doctors in training, mental health workers, and a manager. Data analysis was iterative and thematic.
Results
The NICE guideline, with its embedded principles of holism and evidence-based practice, was viewed positively but its impact was compromised by resource and practitioner barriers to implementation. The perceived imposition of the screening questions and severity assessments (PHQ-9) with no responsive training had required practitioners to work hard to minimise negative impacts on their work, for example: constantly adapting consultations to tick boxes; avoiding triggering open displays of distress without the time to offer appropriate care; positively managing how their patients were labelled. Further confusion was experienced around the evolving content of psychological interventions for depression.
Conclusion
Organisational barriers to the implementation of the NICE guideline and the limited scope of the QOF highlight the need for policy makers to work more effectively with the complex realities of general practice in order to systematically improve the quality and delivery of ‘managed’ care for depression.
doi:10.3399/bjgp11X572472
PMCID: PMC3080233  PMID: 21619752
depression; primary health care; qualitative
9.  Delivering high-quality child health care in general practice 
doi:10.3399/bjgp11X561104
PMCID: PMC3047307  PMID: 21375898
10.  Are the gates to be thrown open? 
doi:10.3399/bjgp10X484138
PMCID: PMC2858526  PMID: 20423580
11.  Authors' response 
doi:10.3399/bjgp09X454179
PMCID: PMC2734360
12.  Clinical research by GPs in their own practices 
doi:10.3399/bjgp09X420464
PMCID: PMC2662115  PMID: 19341566
13.  Diabetes prevention 
doi:10.3399/bjgp08X376249
PMCID: PMC2593542  PMID: 19068165
15.  Can type 2 diabetes be prevented in UK general practice? A lifestyle-change feasibility study (ISAIAH) 
Background
The increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus is attributed to increasing weight, reduced physical activity, and poor diet quality. Lifestyle change in patients with pre-diabetes can reduce progression to diabetes but this is difficult to achieve in practice.
Aim
To study the effectiveness of a lifestyle-change intervention for pre-diabetes in general practice.
Design of the study
A feasibility study.
Setting
A medium-sized general practice in Sheffield.
Method
Participants were 33 patients with pre-diabetes. The intervention was a 6-month delayed entry comparison of usual treatment with a lifestyle-change programme: increased exercise and diet change, either reduction in glycaemic load, or reduced-fat diet. The main outcome measures were weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, fasting glucose, lipid profile, and nutrition.
Results
A statistically significant difference was observed between control and intervention groups in three markers for risk of progression to diabetes (weight (P<0.03), BMI (P<0.03), and waist circumference (P<0.001)). No significant differences in fasting glucose or lipid profiles were seen. Aggregated data showed a statistically non-significant improvement in all the measures of metabolic risk of progression to diabetes in the low-glycaemic-load group when compared with a low-fat-diet group (P>0.05). Significant total energy, fat, and carbohydrate intake reduction was achieved and maintained in both groups.
Conclusion
A lifestyle-change intervention feasibility programme for pre-diabetic patients was implemented in general clinical practice. The potential of a low-glycaemic-load diet to be more effective than a low-fat diet in promoting change in the features associated with progression to diabetes is worthy of further investigation.
doi:10.3399/bjgp08X319701
PMCID: PMC2566519  PMID: 18682012
lifestyle; motivation; prediabetic state
19.  Referral letters to colorectal surgeons: the impact of peer-mediated feedback. 
BACKGROUND: General practitioners (GPs) select few patients for specialist investigation. Having selected a patient, the GP writes a referral letter which serves primarily to convey concerns about the patient and offer background information. Referral letters to specialists sometimes provide an inadequate amount of information. The content of referral letters to colorectal surgeons can now be scored based on the views of GPs about the ideal content of referral letters. AIM: To determine if written feedback about the contents of GP referral letters mediated by local peers was acceptable to GPs and how this feedback influenced the content and variety of their referrals. DESIGN: A non-randomised control trial. SETTING: GPs in North Nottinghamshire. METHOD: In a controlled trial, 26 GPs were offered written feedback about the documented contents of their colorectal referral letters over 1 year. The feedback was designed and mediated by two nominated local GPs. The contents of referral letters were measured in the year before and 6 months after feedback. GPs were asked about the style of the feedback. The contents of referral letters and the proportion of patients with organic pathology were compared for the feedback GPs and other local GPs who could be identified as having used the same hospital for their referrals in the period before and after feedback. RESULTS: All GPs declared the method of feedback to be acceptable but raised concerns about their own performance, and some were upset by the experience. None withdrew from the project. There was a difference of 7.1 points (95% confidence interval = 1.9 to 12.2) in the content scores between the feedback group and the controls after adjusting for baseline differences between the groups. Of the GPs who referred to the same hospital before and after feedback, the feedback GPs referred more patients with organic pathology than other local colleagues. CONCLUSIONS: GPs welcome feedback about the details appearing on their referral letters, although peer comparisons may not always lead to changes in practice. However, in some cases feedback improves the content of GP referral letters and may also impact on the type of patients referred for investigation by specialists.
PMCID: PMC1314806  PMID: 14965392
20.  Psychological treatment for insomnia in the management of long-term hypnotic drug use: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. 
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical and cost impact of providing cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for insomnia (comprising sleep hygiene, stimulus control, relaxation and cognitive therapy components) to long-term hypnotic drug users in general practice. DESIGN: A pragmatic randomised controlled trial with two treatment arms (a CBT treated 'sleep clinic' group, and a 'no additional treatment' control group), with post-treatment assessments commencing at 3 and 6 months. SETTING: Twenty-three general practices in Sheffield, UK. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred and nine serially referred patients aged 31-92 years with chronic sleep problems who had been using hypnotic drugs for at least 1 month (mean duration = 13.4 years). RESULTS: At 3- and 6-month follow-ups patients treated with CBT reported significant reductions in sleep latency, significant improvements in sleep efficiency, and significant reductions in the frequency of hypnotic drug use (all P<0.01). Among CBT treated patients SF-36 scores showed significant improvements in vitality at 3 months (P<0.01). Older age presented no barrier to successful treatment outcomes. The total cost of service provision was 154.40 per patient, with a mean incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year of 3416 (at 6 months). However, there was evidence of longer term cost offsets owing to reductions in sleeping tablet use and reduced utilisation of primary care services. CONCLUSIONS: In routine general practice settings, psychological treatments for insomnia can improve sleep quality and reduce hypnotic consumption at a favourable cost among long-term hypnotic users with chronic sleep difficulties.
PMCID: PMC1314744  PMID: 14960215
21.  Does methadone maintenance treatment based on the new national guidelines work in a primary care setting? 
BACKGROUND: General practitioners (GPs) are being encouraged to treat more drug users but there are few studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of primary care treatment. AIM: To determine whether patients retained on methadone maintenance treatment for one year in a modern British primary care setting, with prescribing protocols based on the new national guidelines, can achieve similar harm reduction outcomes to those demonstrated in other settings, using objective outcome measures where available. DESIGN OF STUDY: Longitudinal cohort study. SETTING: The Primary Care Clinic for Drug Dependence, Sheffield. METHOD: The intervention consisted of a methadone maintenance treatment provided by GPs with prescribing protocols based on the 1999 national guidelines. The first 96 eligible consenting patients entering treatment were recruited; 65 completed the study. Outcome measures were current drug use, HIV risk-taking behaviour, social functioning, criminal activity, and mental and physical health, supplemented by urinalysis and criminal record data. RESULTS: Frequency of heroin use was reduced from a mean of 3.02 episodes per day (standard deviation [SD] = 1.73) to a mean of 0.22 episodes per day (SD = 0.54), (chi 2 = 79.48, degrees of freedom [df] = 2, P < 0.001), confirmed by urinalysis. Mean numbers of convictions and cautions were reduced by 62% (z = 3.378, P < 0.001) for all crime. HIV risk-taking behaviour, social functioning, and physical and psychological wellbeing all showed significant improvements. CONCLUSION: Patients retained on methadone maintenance treatment for one year in a primary care setting can achieve improvements on a range of harm reduction outcomes similar to those shown by studies in other, often more highly structured programmes.
PMCID: PMC1314620  PMID: 12939891
23.  Quality of referral letters. 
PMCID: PMC1314603  PMID: 12830571
24.  Telephone consultations are routinely used 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2003;327(7410):345.
PMCID: PMC1126752  PMID: 12907512

Results 1-25 (28)